The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1916 War Diary Appendices
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
10 Apr 1916 Infantry Escort consisting of 100 officers & OR's & Camel Convoy left SHALLUFA at 1630 & marched to DARB-EL-HAJ arrived 2000 where we bivouaced the night
11 Apr 1916 Escort & Convoy left DARB-EL-HAJ at 0500 to march to -EL in WADI-EL-HAGGE, halted at 0930 for midday halt, were joined by Middx Yeomanry at 1000, left at 1515 preceded by Yeomanry, arrived at destination at 1645 where we formed a Camp with the Yeomanry. A Camel Convoy arrived at 2000
12 Apr 1916 Yeomanry left Camp & went ahead, we completed our depositions for protection of the Camp. Empty camel convoy left for SHALLUFA at 0530. Full camel convoy arrived at Camp at 2030
13 Apr 1916 Yeomanry arrived back at Camp at 1900, three prisoners were handed over to us to guard, full camel convoy arrived at 1700.
14 Apr 1916 Escort & convoy left at 0500 to march to DARB-EL-HAJ, were halted by Yeomanry to water their horses at 0600, handed back prisoners, started again at 0800. Halted for lunch at 1200 started at 1300 arrived DARB-EL-HAJ at 1500 where we bivouaced night. Camel Convoy continued on to EL-KUBRI.
15 Apr 1916 Escort left at 0900 to march to EL-KUBRI arrived at 1100
22 Apr 1916 - Sheet 3 SINIA 1/250000 1745 Column concentrated at the WADI EL HAJ about 1 mile S. of Triangulation Point 888. Yeomanry having marched From SHALLUFA - Bikanir Camel Corps from DARB EL HAJ post & the Infantry together with RE & RAMC Details from EL KUBRI A Post called A Post 1 Officer & 24 Infantry was established here to protect & work [?] the relays of Camel Convoys: A signal station was also established here in telephonic communication with DARB EL HAJ & a visual station in the neighbourhood of Triangulation Point 888.
23 Apr 1916 0430 The column marched to a point about 2 miles W. of RUINED CHAPEL in the triangular form of the Road leading to PT.146 & the WADI'S. 1145 Column arrived 1000 A Detachment consisting of 1 Troop Yeomanry; parts of RE with Lorton Tube Apparatus & a strong section of Infantry which had been sent forward to prospect for water, arrived in the neighbourhood of the RUINED CHAPEL. 1400 Patrols of Yeomanry were sent up W EL GEBAB & E EL TAWAL a Post of 1 Officer & 60 Infantry was established here called "B" Post for similar purposes as "A" Post. The party as already detailed for water prospecting was also based on this post for supplies, In consequence of Patrols Report that the WADI EL GEBAB was practically impassable I decided not to push further that night towards the entrance of the W. EL TAWAL, but to remain at the camp already established & march next day via PT1468. Attempts were made to obtain visual communication, but owing to the formation of the country this was found impossible. The distance of this march was considerable, more than appears from the map owing to the windings of the WADI, making going in advance & on the Flanks very slow & hard work for both horse & man owing to the undulating & drifted sand.
24 Apr 1916 0430 Column marched to a point in the angle of the W EL GEBAB & the W. UM MITLA 0630. The advance guard got in touch with the MITLA column. I consulted with O.C. MITLA Column & arranged if possible to send my Yeomanry & Bikanir Camel men to assist him in an effort to reconnoitre the pass towards HEITAN. At the same time we arranged to establish combined camp for both columns near the MITLA ROAD about a mile & a half SE of PT. 1880 A visual signal station was established in the neighbourhood of PT1790 This station called by Helio for about an hour in the morning & again about 2 hrs in the afternoon, but ws unable to obtain an answer from any other station. The prospecting party for water in the neighbourhood of RUINED CHAPEL continued its work all day.
25 Apr 1916 0400 Column marched to PT nea the EL of WADI E---L HAJ 1000 Column arrived 1500 Helio got in communication with PT888 1500 Yeomanry Patrols went [sic] sent to work round the W EL GEBAB, RUINED CHAPEL & W EL TAWAL 1630 A Patrol of Bikanir Camel men was sent on a wide sweep round both flanks. 1850 All patrols returned & reported no signs of enemy.
26 Apr 1916 0400 Column marched for Post A, where Yeomanry went straight to SHALLUFA, & I left the column & came on ahead in order to write up reports.
SECRET RAILHEAD COLUMN ORDER No. 1 13th October 1916. Ref. Map. SUEZ Sheet 009 1/40,000
1. GEBEL MURR has been captured by us. MABEUIK and BIR MURR are also in our hands. AYUN MUSA and 198 are being heavily engaged by us. the enemy hold RAILHEAD, 153, and EL SHATT. RAILHEAD has been heavily bombarded by us from GEBEL MURR since its capture this morning.
2. The Column will attack and storm RAILHEAD at dawn. Batt. R.F.A.
3. The O.C., R.F.A. will select a position in the vicinity of hill 309 or the Sand Dunes N.W. of that hill, and will bombard RAILHEAD at dawn, viz from 0530 - 0600. he is to pay particular attention to defence works on a front of 100 yards left in square H 28 a with a view to making a breach for the assaulting troops. At 0600 he will switch to the hostile redoubt at the crossing of the Road and WADI in square H 32 c. Capt. James [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC] 1/5th Bedf R. Comdg. No.1 Battalion 1 Coy No.2 Batt. No. 1 Battalion with 1 Coy No. 2 Battalion in support will move secretly to cover in the WADI just N. of the figure H 28. To be in position at0515. 1 Coy No.2 Batt. One Coy No. 2 Battalion will move secretly to the neighbourhood of the figure H 27. To be in position also by 0515. No.2 Batt. (less 2 Coys) No. 2 Batt. will be in Column Reserve and will move to such cover as can be found in the neighbourhood of square H 35 a. Section I.F.A. The Section I.F.A. will establish an advanced dressing station near H 36 C.
4. At 0601 the assault will be delivered and driven right home. the Company of No.2 Battalion operating from the S.W. will cooperate as occasion offers.
5. Reports in the first instance to hill 309. * All Transport not required by Units in the attack will be Brigaded under 2nd Lieut C.V.Douglas [Charles Victor DOUGLAS] 1/5th Bedf.R. & will move into the Sand Dunes N.W. of Hill 309
1/5th Bedfordshire Regiment Move Order No. 1 31-Dec-16
1. The under mentioned moves and reliefs will take place this week, the ultimate order of things being Headquarters, "A" & "B" Coys. & Divl. band at SHALLUFA, Major G.H. de L.Dayrell [Gerald Marmaduke de Longport DAYRELL], "C" & "D" Coys at GENEFFE.
2. RAILHEAD Comdr. Capt.H.W.Cronin [Harold William CRONIN] 1 Off.30 ORs "A" Coy. 1 Off.70 ORs "C" Coy. OLDHAM Comdr. Lt. Sperling 1 Off.70 ORs "B" Coy. 1 Off.30 ORs "D" Coy. KABRIT Comdr. Lt. New [Leslie Perry NEW]. 2 Offs.100 ORs "A" Coy. On Thursday Jan 4. The Battalion less garrisons (mentioned in margin) will march from GENEFFE RAILHEAD at 0900 to SHALLUFA, where it will bivouac for the night. All ranks not detailed for garrison at OLDHAM will concentrate at GENEFFE RAILHEAD by the evening of Wednesday Jan.3. The Q.M. will arrange for bivouac at SHALLUFA. Dress - Marching Order (2 blankets per man and Packs and Rifles of Drums on Transport.)
3. On Friday Jan 5. the Battalion will march at 0900 to HALFWAY HOUSE, where it will be employed on work in connection with the Defences.
4. SHALLUFA Comdr. Lt. [H.H.] SPERLING 1 Off.30 ORs "A" Coy. 1 Off.70 ORs "B" Coy. GENEFFE Comdr. Capt. Cronin [Harold William CRONIN]. 1 Off.70 ORs "C" Coy. 1 Off.30 ORs "D" Coy. On Saturday Jan 6 the 4th Northants Regt. will take over GENEFFE RAILHEAD and OLDHAM, and the garrisons of these Posts will take over SHALLUFA and GENEFFE (as per margin). These parties will be responsible for the transfer of the Base Kits of the Battalion to the new Posts.
5. On Saturday Jan 7. The 4th Northants Regt. will take over KABRIT. When relieved the garrison will proceed by water to SHALLUFA under arrangements which will be made by Subsection Headquarters. This party will dump their Base Kits at SHALLUFA and proceed next day by march route to join the Battalion at HALFWAY HOUSE.
6. All tents, reserve ammunition, trench stores, Unit equipment of grenades and reserve supplies will be left at Posts and receipts taken (except HALFWAY HOUSE).
7. This Battalion will take over the tents of the 10th London Regt at SHALLUFA and GENEFFE. The Q.M. will arrange for those required by the Battalion at HALFWAY HOUSE to be taken from SHALLUFA and/or GENEFFE. The move of the Battalion to HALFWAY HOUSE will be under Field Service conditions, and Base Kits will be dumped at SHALLUFA and GENEFFE.
8. The Q.M. has already requisitioned for carriage of baggage. Further instructions as to trains and lighters for baggage will be issued later.
9. Battalion Report Centre will close at GENEFFE RAILHEAD at 0845 on Jan 4 and move at Head of Battalion via GENEFFE to SHALLUFA, opening at SHALLUFA on arrival. On 5 Jan. Report Centre will close at SHALLUFA at 0845 and move at Head of Battalion via MANCHESTER and KUBRI RAILHEAD to HALFWAY HOUSE, opening at HALFWAY HOUSE on arrival. NOTE Distinguishing flags will be used by H.Q. and Coys. on this and on all future occasions without further orders being issued about it.
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